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Talking Transportation: Who’s In Charge?

By Jim Cameron

Special to WestportNow

Is anyone guiding our state’s transportation future? One wonders.

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Three months into the Malloy administration, we still don’t have a commissioner at the Department of Transportation (DOT). Yet, the governor is pushing legislation to eliminate the Transportation Strategy Board just a decade after its creation.

It’s clear that we are far from solving our transportation mess, so it’s disconcerting that no individual or advisory board seems to be in charge.

We’ve had five Commissioners at the DOT since Jodi Rell became governor, the most recent leaving last July under the cloud of an alleged scandal. So why the lack of a firm hand on the tiller of this 3,400-employee, $725 million capital budget agency?

Live Action

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Fifteen artists took part in a sketch class Tuesday at the Westport Historical Society where an exhibit “The Sketch Class: A Westport Tradition” is under way. Featured as the live model was Julie Hicks, mother of Tyler Hicks, the photojournalist recently captured and released after several days in Libya. The sketch class replicates the bi-weekly sketch class experiences held at Elizabeth Gaynor’s studio. The gathering of artists come together to paint, sketch or draw a live model and share the camaraderie of fellow artists. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


8:45 a.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Municipal Employees Pension Board
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Westport Historical Society – “The Sketch Class: A Westport Tradition” and “Art From The Heart”
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Westport Arts Center – “Hope in Haiti” & SHS “Dog Show”
Noon – Westport Public Library – Author Page Dickey
Noon – 1:30 p.m. – Toquet Hall – Play With Your Food, season finale: Rodgers & Hammersteins’s “South Pacific-Scene 1,” “Post-Its,” and “Judgment Call;” Lunch by Bobby Q’s.
4 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Beautification Committee
7 p.m. – Town Hall Auditorium – Board of Finance Public Hearing (live coverage cable channel 79, AT&T channel 99, and westportct.gov)
7:30 p.m. – Town Hall Room 201 – Flood & Erosion Control Board
7:30 p.m. – Westport Public Library – TEAM Westport: Diversity in Colleges

See more events:  Celebrate Westport Calendar

RTM Approves New Police Roof, Conservation Fees

By James Lomuscio

The Westport Representative Town Meeting (RTM) tonight approved requests for a new Police Department roof, new Conservation Department fees and an old workers compensation settlement.

The RTM voted 32 to 0 with 1 abstention to approve a request from Public Works Director Stephen Edwards for a $332,000 appropriation from the Capital and Nonrecurring Expenditure Fund for a new asphalt roof at Police Headquarters.

Edwards said that the building’s 59-year-old slate roof, as well as its cornices, decorative moldings and copper gutters, had deteriorated causing building leaks.

“It was slated for replacement in 2005,” said Edwards, noting that the project had been postponed for fiscal considerations. “It is at the point where we can no longer hold it off.”

Deborah A. Bulakites, 55

Deborah A. Bulakites of Westport passed away April 4 at Norwalk Hospital. She was 55.

Born Oct. 9, 1955 in Memphis, Tenn., she was daughter of William Bulakites and the late Gertrude Gillis Bulakites. She graduated from Staples High School in 1974 and was a Westport resident for most of her life.

In addition to her father William, she is survived by her step-mother Ottilie, both of Wallingford; her uncle Eugene Bulakites of Shelton; and by two cousins, Laura Barton of Stratford, and Barbara Ferris and her husband Craig of Shelton.

Additionally, she is survived by her two step-sisters, Sidnie Crawford and her husband Dan of Lincoln, Neb., and Deborah White and her husband Gary Spenik of Alameda, Calif., and by many more cousins in Vermont.

A private graveside service will be held in Assumption Cemetery in Westport. In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory may be made to the American
Diabetes Association (http://www.diabetes.org).

Words from Mom and Dad

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Westporters David and Andrea Reister were at the Westport Public library tonight to discuss their new book, “Letters from Home: A Wake-up Call for Success and Wealth.” Written in the form of letters to their four young sons, the book depicts the qualities that made America great and describes the ways in which young people can be shown the true basis of success, prosperity and fulfillment. The Reisters have pledged to donate all proceeds from the sale of their book to various charities. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

Adding Music to Play With Your Food

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Actors Garrett Long (l) and Christopher Carl, both of whom performed in the 2008 Broadway revival of “South Pacific,” enchanted a full house today at Play With Your Food at Westport’s Toquet Hall performing “Some Enchanted Evening” from the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic. It was the first musical offering by the lunchtime series. “South Pacific” opened on Broadway in 1949 and ran for more than five years. Performances continue at noon on Wednesday and Thursday at Toquet Hall and on April 12 at the Fairfield Theatre Company. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Firehouse Visitors

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First grade Cub Scouts (Tiger Scouts) toured Westport Fire Headquarters today. The boys learned about the various trucks and equipment as well as the many ways firefighters help Westport. During the tour, there was a fire call and the Scouts watched as firefighters quickly prepared and headed out. Fortunately, they returned a short time later and resumed the tour. The firefighters were especially proud of their new ladder truck and let everyone on board for a close inspection. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

The Story Behind Bigelow’s Constant Comment Tea

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Cindi Bigelow, president of Fairfield-based Bigelow Tea since 2005—founded by her grandmother, Ruth Campbell Bigelow in 1945 – addressed the Westport Rotary Club today and told the story behind the name of the nation’s most popular specialty tea, Constant Comment. She said her grandmother produced the new tea in her kitchen and asked friends to sample it. They told her it provoked nothing but “constant comment” whenever it was served. “She loved the name and it stuck,” said Bigelow, whose company employs 330 and produces more than 1.5 billion tea bags annually. She will address the Y’s Men of Westport/Weston on Thursday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com